Fire station is set to stay in Leamington

Leamington Fire Station
Leamington Fire Station

Leamington fire station is likely to remain in the town centre for the foreseeable future with plans to find a new site expected to be shelved.

Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet members will next week be asked to approve revisions to Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s estate and to approve changes to the capital programme which will allow these revisions to be made.

Council officers have concluded that “while the need for training facilities that are fit for purpose remains a top priority for the service, there is no operational benefit in relocating Leamington fire station assuming the current building remains in a suitable operational condition”.

This is a change from early 2013 when the county council allocated £9 million - or £3 million a year for three years - from its budget to find a new location for the station along with the creation of a new training centre.

This money was allocated at a time when the service was considering an alliance with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Instead, it has been recommended that the site is refurbished with the service proposing to carry out a survey of the station with the view of bringing the building up to suitable modern standards and to improve the environmental issues currently affecting the building.

Plans to merge Warwickshire and Northamptonshire’s control rooms will no longer be further developed with both services now providing mutual support to one another in this area of their operations.

Training for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service currently takes place at Nuneaton fire station and the former police station in Bedworth but councillors have recognised the “inadequacies” of these sites and officers are now considering options for the best place for facilities.

Two possible sites for the training centre - one at Coney Grey Farm in Ryton and the other at Blue Boar Farm in Ryton have been identified.

Both are owned by the county council and within close proximity of one another and have the potential to be used by other ‘blue light’ services.

Officers have recommended that the potential for one of the two sites is further examined.

The Ryton location is considered a strong choice as it was one which had been earmarked as a possible venue for a new fire station.

The service is establishing a response point in Gaydon with the only cost being for a building to house a fire engine.

The cost of refurbishing Leamington station is expected to be about £2.8 million while the new training centre would cost about £5.3 million.

The Gaydon site would cost £700,000 while a reconfiguration of Stratford and Alcester fire stations, which take into account a new crewing system, is expected to cost £600,000.

The business case for the preferred option for the training centre is due to be completed by spring and considered by the council next month. a